Pandora off the air in most countries

May 11, 2007

Pandora is an Internet radio service launched in 2005, it allows you to enter a favorite artist or song and the service then matches you up with similar tunes and artists. Other services, such as Rhapsody and Napster, have similar features with their custom radio channels, but Pandora does it a little differently than most. Pandora is the offspring of the Music Genome Project, an undertaking designed to analyze music and determine what makes people favor a particular song or artist, and then match people with music they might also like.

Due to licensing constraints Pandora can no longer allow access to most listeners located outside of the US. Here’s what comes up accessing the Pandora web site from Brazil. Apparently only the US, the UK and Canada still have this service available to public.

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That’s really too bad because Pandora is/was a great way to listen to music you wouldn’t listen to otherwise and it does follow your tastes to a certain extent.

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Reportedly the music majors have put pressure in order to stop broadcasting in those countries where there still are no agreements on copyright licences. In the US there’s a law that regulates copyright on the internet and other digital platforms, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). Pandora made agreements in the UK and is working in the same direction with other countries.

Now the Pandora web site is being restricted to listeners verifying the user IP address. Workarounds like configuiring the browser to access through a proxy that’s located in the US, or through sites that allow anonymous surfing are probably not worth the effort.

Farewell Pandora!

I find Last.fm (the social music revolution) a good alternative.

[Some geeky work-arounds for accessing Pandora from outside the US are described here]


Installing Skype in Ubuntu Edgy Eft

May 2, 2007

When I had Ubuntu up and running I was quite anxious to play with the new OS and customize it with my favorite apps. Some apps I was able to install via Add/Remove Applications (Azureus, Amule, VLC) quite easily, other apps I had to understand how Synaptic worked and read through the Ubuntu wikis.

The first app I wanted to install was Skype and here I describe how I did it hoping it comes handy to other beginners like me.

Installing Skype through Repository:

  1. Go to: System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager
  2. desktop-to-repository.jpg

    You will be asked for your system password, then a Synaptic Package Manager window will come up.
    This window shows the so called repositories which control the installation process and get the application packets from the Internet into the OS.

  3. From the Synaptic Pagake Manager window click Settings>Repositories.
  4. From the new window Software Sources select the Third Party tab and click Add.
  5. finestra-3rd-party.jpg

  6. Paste the following into the APT Line field:
  7. deb http://download.skype.com/linux/repos/debian/ stable non-free

    then click OK and OK again until you get back to the Synaptic Package Manager.

  8. Click Reload to refresh the repositories
  9. Search and Mark for installation the packet Skype, click on apply and keep going until the application is completely installed
  10. If all went right you will find Skype from the menu Applications>Internet
  11. That’s all!